Tigers send Scherzer to hill vs. Royals

Max Scherzer takes aim at his third straight winning game set with the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.

Scherzer, who is 13-7 with a 4.21 earned run average, did not get a decision on Wednesday against Tampa, as he allowed two runs and four hits in five innings of a 3-2 loss.

His 13 wins are a career high.

Scherzer is 2-1 this season versus the Royals and 4-3 lifetime against them with a 2.85 ERA in eight starts.

Detroit was denied a three-game sweep in Minnesota on Sunday, as it dropped an 11-4 decision at Target Field. Ramon Santiago went 4-for-4 with a two-run single for the Tigers, who suffered just their second loss in 10 games, but still lead the American League Central by six games over Chicago.

Brad Penny (9-10) was hammered for seven runs and eight hits in five-plus innings to take the loss, his first in four starts.

"I didn't really have a good breaking ball today," said Penny. "Didn't have a lot of opportunities to throw it and get a feel for it, but I felt strong, my arm felt great."

Kansas City, meanwhile, avoided a three-game sweep on Sunday, as Bruce Chen rebounded after a shaky first inning to help the Royals to a 2-1 victory at Progressive Field.

Chen (10-5) allowed the Indians to load the bases with nobody out in the opening inning, but limited the damage to one run and didn't allow another runner to reach second in his 7 1/3-inning start.

The lefty allowed five hits and two walks while striking out four to post his second straight 10-win season. Joakim Soria earned his 24th save with a perfect ninth in the Royals' 50th one-run game this year (22-28).

Billy Butler went 3-for-5 with the game-winning run, while Mike Moustakas extended his hit streak to 11 with the go-ahead single in the third.

Getting the call for the Royals tonight will be righty Luke Hochevar, who is 8-10 with a 4.91 ERA. Hochevar did not get a decision on Wednesday in Toronto, as he surrendered three runs and four hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss.

Hochevar has faced the Tigers 10 times (nine starts) and is 3-4 with a 5.10 ERA.

Detroit is 8-4 this season versus the Royals.